|Publication number||US7410043 B2|
|Application number||US 11/497,532|
|Publication date||Aug 12, 2008|
|Filing date||Aug 2, 2006|
|Priority date||Feb 2, 2004|
|Also published as||CN1914114A, CN1914114B, DE602005008709D1, EP1711427A2, EP1711427B1, US20070029162, WO2005073112A2, WO2005073112A3|
|Publication number||11497532, 497532, US 7410043 B2, US 7410043B2, US-B2-7410043, US7410043 B2, US7410043B2|
|Inventors||Esko Aulanko, Jorma Mustalahti, Marc Ossendorf|
|Original Assignee||Kone Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (26), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (1), Classifications (9), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/FI2005/000007 filed Jan. 5, 2005, designating the United States and claiming priority from application Ser. No. FI20040157 filed in Finland on Feb. 2, 2004, the disclosures of both foregoing applications being incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates to an arrangement for coupling pallets of a travelator or equivalent.
Like escalators, travelators are conveying devices used to move people and goods. They differ from escalators e.g. in that they often work in a substantially horizontal position or in a position slightly inclined relative to their direction of motion, so that successive steps, i.e. pallets, form a substantially even and rectilinear transport track instead of stair-like steps as in escalators. Travelators are also referred to as moving sidewalks and autowalks.
In known travelators, autoramps and escalators, the pallets or steps are typically connected to an endless chain, belt or equivalent serving as a drive element by means of a separate coupling element. In known solutions, the coupling arrangements are complicated and often also require the use of special tools for the coupling to be successfully performed in the desired manner. Long travelators contain a large number of pallets, each one of which has to be coupled to the drive element either by one end or by both ends. These known coupling solutions and the associated adjustments are slow and complicated to implement, which is why the installation times are very long, especially when long travelators are to be installed. This is expensive and otherwise undesirable. In addition, maintenance and repair operations take a longer time because the release and re-mounting of known coupling elements is a slow process. Coupling elements of a larger size, which take up space around their path of motion and add to the weight of the structures present further problems. An additional problem in known coupling elements is the chain serving as a drive element, which has to be of a special construction due to the coupling. Such a chain, which is specific only to a given application, is generally expensive and may be difficult to obtain in urgent cases of repair.
An object of the present invention is to overcome the above-mentioned drawbacks and to achieve an arrangement for coupling pallets of a travelator, moving ramp or escalator or an equivalent apparatus, an arrangement that is of economical cost and allows easy coupling, and wherein the pallet is coupled especially to a chain functioning as a drive element moving the pallets.
The above and other objects are achieved according to the invention by the provision of an arrangement for coupling a pallet in a conveying device which in one exemplary embodiment includes: a pallet having wheels and forming a part of a transport track of the conveying device; a drive element; a coupling piece adapted to be connected to the pallet; and a fastening part connecting the drive element to the coupling piece.
The advantages provided by the pallet coupling arrangement of the invention include easy and fast installation, which means that the installation, maintenance and repair times are short and consequently the downtimes are also short. In addition, the coupling solution is simple and reliable, so the coupling is safe and requires no special tools in order to be successfully carried out. A further advantage is that the drive elements used may consist of standard chains, which are economical and quickly available when needed. Yet another advantage is that the coupling element is of small size and light weight, so the coupling solution does not take up much space around its path and the coupling pieces do not strain the travelator structures by their weight. A significant advantage is that the pallet can be connected to the chain from above. Thus, the pallet can be easily fastened to the chain during installation, and during maintenance or repair the pallet can be easily released from the chain and secured to it again. In the further exemplary embodiments of the invention, the pallet can be lowered to its position relative to the chain and the pallet track and connected to the chain without lateral movement of the chain or the pallet lowered into position. As the connection is easy to make and release, installation and maintenance work requires less time.
In the following, the invention will be described in detail with reference to an exemplary embodiment and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
As shown in
The width of the surface plates 2 a-2 c is so defined that, using a suitable number of surface plates of the same width, it is possible to cover pallet bodies of different lengths, so the same parts can be used to assemble pallets of different lengths.
The body 3 of the pallet 1 consists of one or more profiled parts placed side by side. The body 3 is preferably composed of two body halves consisting of identical, mutually upside-down oriented profiled parts, which are also horizontally conversely arranged. Thus, the two halves of the body can be easily cut off the same profiled bar and turned into mutually opposite positions and joined together during assembly of the body.
The spring used as a locking element 13 is of a size and shape such that it can be locked onto the coupling piece 8 by spring force. The locking element 13 is a roughly U-shaped piece made from thin sheet metal, and it has in its bottom part two protrusions 14 whose size, orientation and mutual distance correspond to the size, orientation and mutual distance of the slots 10. Moreover, the locking element 13 has at each upper edge an inward elbow 21, which is fitted to meet the upper surface of the coupling piece 8 when the pallet is coupled to the chain. As the configuration of
If the shaft 9 is locked directly to the mounting hole 5 going through the entire pallet, then the lower surface of the pallet body has to be provided with recesses 19 as shown in
The structure of the fastening element 20 may differ from that described above. For example the coupling piece 8 and the locking element 13 may be of some other type than in the above description. The fastening element 20 may be, for example, so constructed that the shaft 9 is not a fixed part of the coupling piece 8, but instead the coupling piece 8 is provided with a hole which is used to fasten the coupling piece onto a locking shaft locking the two halves of the body 3 together. The end of the locking shaft extends far enough out of the central hole of the body 3 to allow the coupling piece to be locked onto the locking shaft, for example, by a circlip.
The locking element corresponding to locking element 13 may also be a structure like that presented in
Similarly, it is obvious that, instead of the use of locking elements 13, 23, 24, the slots 10 may be holes and the ends of the fastening pins 11 projecting from the chain can be locked on the back surface of the coupling piece 8 by means of circlips. In this case, the lower surface of the back part of the coupling piece may be provided with recesses or equivalent to allow the circlips to be mounted from the below. The recesses allow the surface of the locking piece to be evenly set against the pallet body. Instead of circlips, the fastening pins 11 may have bolt-like heads with a diameter larger than the shank part of the pin. In this case, the fastening pins can be inserted into the holes of the coupling piece 8 from the side of the pallet, whereupon the chain 12 is fastened by its holes to the fastening pins. The holes of the coupling piece are in this case provided with countersinks on the back surface for the heads of the fastening pins.
It is additionally possible that the coupling piece 8 has only one slot 10 or hole, in which is mounted only one fastening pin 11 or equivalent of a design such as a longer chain pin. This may be possible, for example, in light structures or if the chain 12 has thick pins in any case.
Instead of a fastening pin/fastening pins 11, the chain may also have another type of fastening part, for example, a chain link shaped to permit fastening or some other detent for engaging the coupling piece 8. In the case of another type of fastening part, the coupling piece is correspondingly specifically designed as required by such a detent. For example, a tooth-like peg provided with a hole and jutting out laterally from the side plate of a chain link could be coupled in the fastening element by means of a bolt or a suitable cotter pin arrangement.
It is likewise obvious that the shafts 9 may also function as locking shafts that lock the body structure composed of two separate profiled pieces together as a single assembly.
It is further obvious that, instead of a chain as described above, it is possible to use different types of chain structures or equivalent as a drive element.
It is further obvious to the person skilled in the art that the coupling piece 8 may be rigidly fastened relative to the link of the chain 12, or that the fastening to the pallet is implemented between the joints/pins of the chain 12 at the link whereby the fastening to the chain 12 takes place.
It will be understood that the above description of the present invention is susceptible to various modifications, changes and adaptations, and the same are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the appended claims.
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|1||International Search Report for PCT/FI2005/000007 Mailed Aug. 26, 2005.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US20100175969 *||Jan 13, 2010||Jul 15, 2010||System Plast S.R.L.||Conveyor|
|U.S. Classification||198/333, 198/838|
|International Classification||B66B23/02, B65G17/42, B66B23/10|
|Cooperative Classification||B65G17/42, B66B23/10|
|European Classification||B66B23/10, B65G17/42|
|Oct 23, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KONE CORPORATION, FINLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:AULANKO, ESKO;MUSTALAHTI, JORMA;OSSENDORF, MARC;REEL/FRAME:018446/0784;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060801 TO 20060807
|Feb 3, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Feb 2, 2016||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8